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RCP Congressional Bill Tracker - H.R. 2646


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H.R. 2646: Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016

Title: Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016

Introduced: Jun 4, 2015 (114th Congress)

Sponsor: (No First Name Found) (No Last Name Found) [-]

Status: Passed House - Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Summary: Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 This bill creates the position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders to take over the responsibilities of the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Mental health programs are extended and training regarding mental health is expanded. SAMHSA must establish the National Mental Health Policy Laboratory and the Interagency Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to require the National Institute of Mental Health to translate evidence-based interventions and the best available science into systems of care. Certain mental health care professional volunteers are provided liability protection. Pediatric mental health subspecialists are eligible for National Health Service Corps programs. An underserved population of children or a site for training in child psychiatry can be designated as a health professional shortage area. The protected health information of an individual with a serious mental illness may be disclosed to a caregiver under certain conditions. This bill amends title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act (SSAct) to conditionally expand coverage of mental health services. Part D (Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program) of title XVIII (Medicare) of the SSAct is amended to require coverage of antidepressants and antipsychotics. If it will not increase Medicare spending, Medicare's 190-day lifetime limit on inpatient psychiatric hospital services is eliminated. Health information technology activities and incentives are expanded to include certain mental health and substance abuse professionals and facilities. This bill restricts the lobbying and counseling activities of protection and advocacy systems for individuals with mental illness. These systems must focus on safeguarding the rights of individuals with mental illness to be free from abuse and neglect.


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